16 Dec 2018
Agadir, Morocco
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Creativity was always part of Mohamed Khattou’s childhood. “As a child, I used what was presented to me to make toys and everyday objects. So I started using the tyres that were available to me. The first object I made was a laundry basket for my mother,” he says. But at the time, he did not know that it would become his passion and the project of his life.

After working for several years with an interior designer, Khattou decided to start his own business by creating a cooperative with the youth of his hometown, Agadir, Morocco. “I started with a budget of 5000 dirhams (500 euros). I did everything myself with the help of my brother. It was difficult initially to get people to embrace the concept of upcycling,” he says. “But with the word of mouth, I was able to expand my cooperative by training staff in my hometown and Upcyclemo began to find its place in the market.”

Khattou adds that he’s always been aware of the impact we humans have on our environment. “Its preservation is now a matter of survival for humanity. Every year, the world releases 2.12 billion pieces of waste. Recycling and upcycling are the future of our planet and I decided to act at my level,” he notes.

Upcyclemo uses tyres that they recycle and sublimate to create indoor and outdoor furniture, decorative objects, and trendy accessories. Each piece, combining design and comfort, is unique and customizable. “I have created chairs, baskets, storage boxes, belts, bags, chairs … the possibilities with the tyres are endless,” says Khattou.

At the moment, he continues to work on his ‘Shadow and Light’ collection which subtly combines beech wood with the recycled tire.

Khattou’s biggest challenge is financing his cooperative because he self-sustains. “That’s why I still can not attend international fairs because they are too expensive,” he adds.

Upcyclemo’s target audience is individuals and he is starting to export my products to professionals in France and Holland. “They find my products original and trendy, they appreciate the idea of transforming the material of the used tire to a piece of art,” Khattou notes.

First, I show my apprentices the places where I get tyres, then I show them the classifications between the tyres and how to cut them. Then we go to the carpentry workshop where we get some frames for the furniture. And finally we go to the workshop in my village where trainees can work on articles from A to Z with the assistance of my trainers.

 

 

Upcyclemo Resource effciency & sustainable waste management
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